NEW YORK, March 31 - Cyclacel said today that it has entered a four-way collaboration with several private and public partners to develop RNA interference (RNAi) technology for target validation and drug discovery.
Cyclacel will be working with "one of the world's top five pharmaceutical companies," UK-based tech transfer agency Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), and the University of Cambridge to improve RNAi technology for use in analyzing gene expression in mammalian cells.
The four parties have "combined their intellectual property and skills," according to a Cyclacel statement, to jointly develop the use of the RNAi technique as a tool in target validation, drug discovery, and development. Each of the partners will apply the technology developed under the collaboration to their own drug discovery research projects. In addition, CRT retains the right to commercialize "certain technologies" discovered by the collaboration via third parties. Cyclacel and the undisclosed pharmaceutical company would be eligible to receive royalties from any commercial products.
David Glover, chief scientist of Cyclacel's Polgen division, will lead the RNAi research. Polgen uses RNAi to screen the Drosophila genome to identify genes involved in the mitotic process, and subsequently identify comparable genes in humans that are then investigated as potential druggable targets.
Glover is the named inventor on a family of patents that CRT holds on the use of RNAi in mammalian cells.